The intimate story of family // First Birthday Portrait Session

East Coast Fine Art Lifestyle Family Portrait Photographer Angelsea Urban 

The official first birthday portraits have quickly become the sweet sixteen of fine art children’s photography. And I couldn’t be happier. I simply adore this age and I am even more thrilled when I had the privilege of photographing a birthday girl or boy’s previous newborn portraits as well.

Meet (again) Sophia. I can’t even believe it’s been a whole year since she was in the studio last. She is a darling little angel and was cracking us up the entire time during her session. Her personality is already totally shining through and her joy is contagious.

Sophia I can’t wait to see you grow even more and I look forward to seeing the adorable little girl you are destined to become.

Please enjoy a few of my favorites portraits from our time together.

XOXO,
Angie

 

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To book your session with Angelsea Urban, please visit http://portraits.angelseaurban.com/#/contact/ or email angelsea@creativeeyephotography.com

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Earliest reservation available May 27th

 

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The Workshop Recap And a special offer

The Cultivate Workshop Recap And a special offer…. See below!

Cultivating Livelihood through practical stewardship and in life and business. Business Education for Creative Entrepreneurs Long Beach Island New Jersey

2014 has meant a lot of changes for me and a big one of them has been to implement a large concentration of efforts on practical education for easy business development. Over the past few months I have rolled out all new Photography Coaching & Business Consulting programs, as well as the launch of my very first Workshop.

In the sea of workshops that new photographers have to choose from on everything from lighting to branding, I set out to create a workshop experience that didn’t give you a pile of work to come home to. I didn’t want people to leave all pumped up and then get home and feel defeated by the size of their to-do list. I wanted to instill practical and easy stewardship techniques and help to prioritize the most important parts of their overall livelihood – not just about their finances. To empower attendees to tackle the hard stuff, together. By the end of the day. It’s a big goal. But so worth the climb to get there.

We wrapped up the very first of its kind with the Cultivate Workshop. It took place in the heart of my hometown roots, the Jersey Shore, on the beautiful beach of Long Beach Island. Literally ON the beach. Attendees had the option to stay at the private beach house where the workshop was being held and there were certainly no complaints about the view. What better environment to talk about all this business mumbo jumbo than the beach? Sunrise over the ocean, the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore…and…. MC Hammer.

Wait… what?

Yes MC Hammer. So tackling topics like LLCs vs Sole Proprietors, Insurances, Taxes, Bookkeeping, Balancing your Livelihood and Writing a 3 year Business Plan is NOT an easy task when working with a group of talented right brained creative people. It’s usually the very last thing creative business owners want to deal with. And I totally get that – and agree! It’s a drag, really – mostly just a bummer sandwich. But it’s so completely necessary to set strong cornerstones for your business so that you can set the parameters in your financial organization process and not the other way around.

 

So…MC Hammer dance parties, M&Ms “drinking” games, Win, Lose or Draw Insurance Pictionary and a little Benjamin Franklin with a notary republic of New Jersey were absolutely necessary in my opinion.  It’s what gets us through the day and allows us to tackle some not so fun topics with pizzazz! AND candy!

In addition to the above topics, we also covered:

Refining Priorities in Life & Business

Defining your Business Boundaries

How to Charge Bigger Dollars with Fancy Lighting

How to Develop a Business Model that fits your Lifestyle

Determining your Personal Salary

Scheduling Tips & Tricks

Switching Gears

 

Each attendee also received a personalized review similar to what I offer in my Coaching & Consulting Sessions. This gives us an opportunity to review your specific situation and implement the material into your life and business, together.

But wait there’s more!! (in my total game show host voice)

Attendees had the privilege of getting new headshots by photographer Kathy Azar. http://www.katherineazar.com Kathy just started co-hosting a new photography based weekly TV program with fellow photographer Greg Cazillo. You can catch their show here. www.youtube.com/user/GregoryCazillo
To top if off, attendees also had the opportunity to sit with Heather Dunnigan, of Denim + Grace Magazine to learn more about personalizing branding and design. http://denimandgrace.com

It was certainly a lot of content to cover and the attendees did an amazing job at implementing the material into their lives and businesses in such a short amount of time.  I am thrilled to see them walk confidentially in their newly refined businesses and being in full control of their livelihoods with practical stewardship. I am honored to have been a part of their journey and I look forward to continuing to support them.

 

A big THANK YOU to all who helped make this first workshop a success! I was so busy that I didn’t take a single picture other than with my phone! So please enjoy some images by the talented Beth Daane http://www.daanestudios.com who captured these below, as well as some of the attendees Instagrams from the weekend. To see more Instagrams search for the hashtag #cultivateworkshopnj or as Rachelle Chase lovingly dubbed it: #cultivateyourfaceoff

I especially loved when my family came to visit the day after the workshop and you all welcomed and embraced them as if they were your own. They truly enjoyed meeting you all and my kids think you are all rock stars! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for a remarkable experience with each of you.

 

To celebrate the launch of the first workshop, all private coaching & consulting sessions will be ½ off the regular fee of $450 for a limited time on a first come first serve basis. The following sessions are currently available:

April 25th 9:00 AM – 12:00 pm currently only $225

Or

May 2nd 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM currently only $225

Available via Skype, phone or in person (bonus head shots + lunch for all in person sessions).

 

Contact Angelsea@creativeeyephotography.com to claim the next available spot. If you would like to be alerted to new Coaching and Consulting Session openings, sign up for the newsletter below.

 

To read detailed information on Coaching & Consulting click here: http://www.angelseaurbanblog.com/education-division-part-1-personalized-coaching-sessions/

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To celebrate the launch of the first workshop, all private coaching & consulting sessions will be ½ off the regular fee of $450 for a limited time on a first come first serve basis. The following sessions are currently available:

April 25th 9:00 AM – 12:00 pm currently only $225

Or

May 2nd 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM currently only $225

Available via Skype, phone or in person (bonus head shots + lunch for all in person sessions).

 

Contact Angelsea@creativeeyephotography.com to claim the next available spot. If you would like to be alerted to new Coaching and Consulting Session openings, sign up for the newsletter below.

 

To read detailed information on Coaching & Consulting click here: http://www.angelseaurbanblog.com/education-division-part-1-personalized-coaching-sessions/

 

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Dancer in the Field // East Coast Delight Retreat

I just had the opportunity to serve with the Delight ministry as a leader to the attendees of the East Coast Retreat in Virginia and was speaking a bit on Business & Stewardship and abiding in Christ through their creative gifts.  The Delight Ministry is a community of young ladies ages 14-20 who are passionate in an area of the creative arts seeking to find their own identity in Christ and how to use their creative gifts to glorify God.

I could share a million things about this past week. I WANT to share a million things about this week. Like the precious time I was able to spend with my dear friend Beth and her family who live nearby where I would be. And WHY it just so happened to work out that way. I want to share about the amazing women I served with and the young ladies I met who have forever changed me, encouraged me, and inspired me. I want to share the endless stories behind the hashtag given to me #angieinthewoods and the funny quirks of staying in a 200 year old farm house. The many laughs we shared, the many tears we shared, and the many victories we celebrated together.

I would love to detail everything we did. The activities that brought breakthroughs, and the moments that changed everything for this particular group of girls that God called together by name to share in this experience with one another.

But all of that is their story to tell. Not mine. In their own time, to their own audience.

Right now I am only called to share a story about a dancer in the field.

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I talked with the girls this week about white noise and how sometimes we don’t even realize how desensitized we have become to the world around us until we turn it off. That a brick is a brick, whether it is used to build a church or used to break a window. It’s not the brick’s fault or accolade. It’s just a brick. Sometimes the brick in your life might be social media, or friends, or circumstances in life. It’s what you do with that brick, and the condition of your heart, that matters.

My brick can be my work in photography or ministry, or how I discipline my kids or my role as a wife or friend. My brick changes daily. The condition of my heart has been white noise covering that brick with doubt or uncertainly when I am facing daily decisions on seeking God’s will for my own life.

Sunday morning was the start of our last full day together at the Delight Retreat. As I prayed for God to lead us through the day, there was an obvious spirit of celebration as we were claiming victory over the many breakthroughs the girls had experienced over the past couple of days. As I prayed I had an image of a girl dancing in a field, celebrating and praising.

As a photographer, among many young photographers, artists, and musicians, I was inspired artistically by the idea of creating that image. I remembered that among the group of girls at this retreat, there was a dancer. I wondered whether or not she would allow me to photograph her, in the field behind the farmhouse as she danced. As I thought about this image, it became clearer and “finished” in my photography terms. It was black and white and she had a long flowing skirt dancing in the wind. I hesitated as I wondered if I was just being drawn selfishly, to scratch my own artistic itch, or if this was something I was just meant to boldly ask her to do because God was prompting it and I needed to listen.

There was a cluster of girls talking and I asked who among them was “the” dancer. Grace answered, “I am a dancer”. I asked her if she would mind dancing in the field and allow me to photograph her later that afternoon. She happily agreed and then apologized that she only had this “long orange skirt” available and wondered if that would even work.  Of course it would, because I was envisioning a long skirt and that it would be perfect. It was so perfect in fact, that if I had intentionally planned an elaborately styled photoshoot, I would have picked that exact garment for this portrait.

Hours passed as we went about our day. The other leaders and I exchanged plans for later in the day and I mentioned to Erin (the head leader and coordinator for the retreat) that I wanted to take Grace out to dance in the field. Erin stopped in her tracks… and said that God had been showing her this girl dancing in a fields at this retreat for months beforehand, and she was almost disappointed that it had not come to fruition. She knew there would be a dancer among them but she didn’t know why there would be a girl dancing in a field or for what purpose.

After that confirmation I knew that this wasn’t just an artistic idea that I had, but it had a purpose and it had a purpose for Grace, specifically.

She had a set of 3 balloons and she asked to somehow be photographed with them. She had used them earlier for her head shots that we were doing with each of the girls that had come to the retreat. As we walked in the field together I mentioned that I thought about bringing her music to dance to, but I felt like it was supposed to be silent instead. That the music she would hear would come from within, and she could just dance how she was led, and to interpret whatever lyrics would come to her.

Turns out, she happens to be a “lyrical” dancer. But of course she is.

I asked her to take the balloons and walk into the field and pray about what God wants her to do in that field. And that when she was ready to just release them and just start dancing to the lyrics in her heart.

Yes, I was a bawling hot mess in case you were wondering.

It was an inspiring sight to see this girl come into her own before my very eyes. After a few quiet reflective moments, she released the balloons and just started dancing. She started and stopped, again and again as she worked through the barriers that kept her from being free in who she was meant to be. She felt hindered by her long skirt until she decided to remove her jewelry, her headband and anything else that was holding her back. She then embraced the fabric of her “orange skirt” (that just so happened to be in her suitcase) and just… danced. She just danced to the lyrics in her heart… for an audience of One – with full abandon and just worshiped in that field. As I look through the images now, the difference between the images in the beginning of her session and the end of her session tell such a story of her story during her time dancing in the field.

 

And sadly, I almost never even asked her.  Because I doubted.

 

I doubted my purpose in that moment. Because of the white noise I wasn’t sure if this was a selfish moment of artistic inspiration or if I needed to call Grace out into the field for a purpose, for her.

The portraits are merely a souvenir from that moment.  Not the purpose behind it.

The funny thing about white noise is that you don’t notice it until it’s off.

 

I challenged the girls to a 7 day Social Media Blackout following the retreat so that  they could reflect on what they experienced this weekend and give it a chance to take root before allowing white noise back into their life. To be able to hear their own thoughts and ideas before being flooded with the thoughts and ideas of others. Social Media is just a brick, and of itself is neither good nor bad, it just is. But by turning it off for 7 days it will allow us all to be able to tune in more clearly to the purpose that God has for each of our lives.

 

Thank you, Grace, for trusting me in that moment (even when I didn’t fully trust myself). You could have easily retreated or held back and just “performed” but you didn’t. You grabbed a hold of that moment and intimately and fiercely pursued your purpose with intention. And I, for one, was so incredibly blessed by your transparency and bravery. And I know that by documenting this story it will be a blessing to others.

I asked Grace to journal about her experience immediately after to capture the raw emotions she was feeling. She did, and shared with me that she opened her bible and immediately found this:

Psalms 30:11-12

 

You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.

Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

 

But of course she did.

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To book your session with Angelsea Urban, please visit http://portraits.angelseaurban.com/#/contact/ or email angelsea@creativeeyephotography.com

Follow Angelsea Urban on Facebook

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Sign up for the Newsletter HERE

https://www.facebook.com/AngelseaUrban/app_100265896690345

Earliest reservation available May 27th

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April 8, 2014 - 10:05 pm

Kristin Ungerecht - Angie… these are stunning. And I definitely teared up as I was reading this. I remember Erin talking about the dancer in the field months and months ago… so beautiful. <3

The Intimate Story of Family // Maternity Portrait Session

East Coast Fine Art Lifestyle Family Portrait Photographer Angelsea Urban 

We were almost halfway through their maternity portrait session in the meadows on the side of a New Jersey highway when I turned to them and said, “guys…. can you believe we are at YOUR maternity session”.

It was their turn.

It was their turn to pick out baby names and plan a nursery theme. To be showered with love and gifts and well wishes because we were all rooting for them. Standing along side them in their journey to parenthood. It was their turn, all in God’s time.

You know people will be great parents by the way they treat other people’s children. And these two treat mine like gold. So much so that when we would announce to our kids that Kacey and Cameron would be coming for a visit they jumped for joy (our kids that is lol). Even more than their own playmates. Because that’s how they were treated. Like they were having visitors too, not just their parents.  And even though Steve and I would be anxious to get the kids to bed so we can dive into late night heart to hearts with these two, we know that our kids cherished them too. They were looked at and spoken with, not to. You can’t fool children. They know a good soul when they see it. And they are so right.

It was such a sincere pleasure to photograph Kacey & Cameron and capture the tender moments before parenting begins. To spend some quiet time when it is still the two of them. Reflecting on the anticipation, and the moments between them as a couple. To share some heartfelt wishes with each other and for their future together as parents. What an honor to be witness to such intimate moments.

I cannot wait to meet their little lass soon. She is already such a warrior child and will be welcomed into the arms of two parents with the biggest hearts around. I am beyond thrilled for the blessing they are about to receive and I know that this child will make an enormous impact in this world.

May God bless your family abundantly!

XOXO,
Angie

Here are just a few of my favorites from their portrait session.

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To book your session with Angelsea Urban, please visit http://portraits.angelseaurban.com/#/contact/ or email angelsea@creativeeyephotography.com

Follow Angelsea Urban on Facebook

Follow Angelsea Urban on Instagram

Sign up for the Newsletter HERE

https://www.facebook.com/AngelseaUrban/app_100265896690345

Next reservation available May 20th

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April 1, 2014 - 6:46 pm

Feuza Tomaz - precious indeed

April 1, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Kacey McGowan Crawford - I am in awe and speechless…with tears streaming down my face, how do I even begin to thank you for entering into and capturing this sacred time as we so eagerly await the arrival of our little lass. You have brought such monumental pieces of our story to life and have preserved them, held them and protected them like no one else could. You heard our hearts and you gave us a safe place to share them. You know me and how much I dislike having my photo taken…yet when I look at these, I am so grateful for the timeless reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going…like you said, it’s our turn…and I thank God for that everyday. Thank you thank you thank you my friend for giving us something so much more than photographs to remember all this with – thank you for giving us the time and space to just be and take pause and bathe in gratitude for the miracle we are about to witness. We love you and appreciate you beyond words! ((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

April 1, 2014 - 5:34 am

Jennifer Lynn - This is precious beyond words. I actually shed a few tears without even knowing them or their story. Incredible. :)

April 1, 2014 - 2:55 am

Coll Ridington - beautiful..no words. beyond excited for the two of you and your miracle baby. God is good!

April 1, 2014 - 1:37 am

Susan Rios - Wow..just wow.

Family Traditions and The Olaf Effect

Last year Easter was in March. We have a tradition to visit the kid’s favorite restaurant, The Rainforest Cafe (ok, it’s really just my favorite restaurant but who counting), for their annual brunch (which is not actually ON Easter – so it works out for us). They do a fabulous job with activities for the kids, and the food is great, but really – any excuse to dine sandwiched between a waterfall and gigantic fish tank with sounds of the rainforest is ok in my book. What started as a sad attempt to relive a moment in our beloved Costa Rica turned into a fun family tradition that we all enjoy for faux Easter. (And on Mother’s day or my birthday or really any time I can manage to convince them we have to see Cha Cha.)

Last year it was freakishly warm – in MARCH. The beach was totally flat and the sandbar stretched out forever allowing the kids to run circles around the giant puddles chasing the seagulls around. It was a great day. And I know the seagulls were having fun too – they were happy to see some life on the beach after a long cold winter.

This March has been looooong. And Cold. I can’t wait to stick my toes in the sand that doesn’t require me sweeping off the snow first. This is the northeast, I get it. And I like snow, but really, enough is enough. I’m done for this year, mmkay? I need my kids to get outside again – without 47 layers of clothes. And let’s not talk about how many times the Frozen Soundtrack (although wonderful) has been lived out every day in full detail round these parts. It’s at the point that when someone is grumpy we declare them to “OLAF” and said grumpy person must break into Olaf’s Summer Song – flailing arms and all. This tactic has worked for a few months now, it makes said grumpy person smile, and really, it’s totally amusing to see your husband have to sing about dandelion fuzz. But the “Olaf Effect” is wearing thin, and we need this picture below to come back into our lives again.

So here’s to the first day of Spring! Horaaay! And Punxsutawney Phil, if you see your shadow again next year I won’t stop Steve from going hunting.

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March 20, 2014 - 1:29 pm

Steve Urban - Beez will buzz… Kibbles n bitz and Lion Fuzz!